274

Henry Threadgill Zooid: This Brings Us To, Volume II

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Henry Threadgill Zooid: This Brings Us To, Volume II This Brings Us To, Volume II is the sequel to 2009's This Brings Us To, Volume I (Pi Recordings), Henry Threadgill's celebrated return to the studio after eight years. Culled from the same recording session, these complimentary releases are the renowned multi-instrumentalist's first commercially available recordings in almost a decade. Volume II finds the legendary AACM innovator's venerable Zooid ensemble exploring a similar range of material as its predecessor, working subtle variations from his singular aesthetic.

Liberty Ellman (acoustic guitar), Jose Davila (trombone and tuba), Stomu Takeishi (acoustic bass guitar) and Elliot Humberto Kavee (drums) have all worked with Threadgill throughout the past decade; their seasoned interpretations of his labyrinthine structures is revealed in a sympathetic rapport that borders on the sublime. Shifting subtly between dynamics in mood, volume and density, the quintet expounds on the leader's Ancient to the Future-inspired themes with supple verve.

Defined as "a cell capable of independent motion within a living organism," Threadgill transposes the underlying concept behind a zooid into an organic methodology by which to structure collective improvisation. Each musician is assigned a separate range of interval blocks, enabling melodic, harmonic and rhythmic independence within an intricate framework of contrapuntal themes and multiple time signatures. The cumulative effect is a stately, chamber-esque latticework of kaleidoscopic textures and acoustic sonorities weaving through an undercurrent of cantilevered grooves.

A distinguished composer of international renown, Threadgill's elaborate compositions encompass a range of global influences, incorporating aspects of African, Latin and Asian traditions into a rootsy, blues-based foundation that reaches back to jazz's seminal New Orleans-based origins. Threadgill's doleful alto lament at the conclusion of the melancholy title track draws upon the same timeless blues traditions as Davila's blustery trombone glissandos on the regal opener "Lying Eyes," while his diaphanous flute musings navigate the quicksilver polyrhythms of "Extremely Sweet William" with a funky precision equal to Ellman's circuitous cadences on the same. A consummate artist, Threadgill sequences the record into an ascending arc, staging the gradually escalating drama of "Polymorph" as a smoldering prelude to the jubilant, anthem-like finale "It Never Moved," which features his pithy alto at its most lyrical.

Threadgill's conception of controlled collective improvisation facilitates an open exchange of ideas within the ensemble, transcending conventional roles of soloist and accompanist by eradicating prototypical boundaries between the front-line and rhythm section. Ellman's incandescent fretwork, Davila's muted brass and Threadgill's contrasting combination of mellifluous flute and acerbic alto provide as much inventive forward momentum as Takeishi's buoyant bass and Kavee's scintillating percussion offer colorful harmonic detail.

A superb follow-up to last year's return to form, This Brings Us To, Volume II is a stellar effort documenting the ongoing efforts of one of today's most important improvising composers.


Track Listing: Lying Eyes; This Brings Us To; Extremely Sweet William; Polymorph; It Never Moved.

Personnel: Henry Threadgill: alto saxophone, flute; Liberty Ellman: acoustic guitar; Jose Davila: trombone, tuba; Stomu Takeishi: acoustic bass guitar; Elliot Humberto Kavee: drums.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Pi Recordings | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop


Warning: mysql_fetch_object(): supplied argument is not a valid MySQL result resource in /home/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php on line 39

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Supernovae" CD/LP/Track Review Supernovae
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Instants Of Time" CD/LP/Track Review Instants Of Time
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 4, 2016
Read "Suite Três Rios" CD/LP/Track Review Suite Três Rios
by Paul Naser
Published: July 29, 2016
Read "Ubuntu" CD/LP/Track Review Ubuntu
by James Nadal
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "Rings" CD/LP/Track Review Rings
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: July 3, 2016
Read "Afternoon In Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Afternoon In Paris
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 16, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!